Be A Better Person

Participants:

young-angela_icon.gif young-chandra_icon.gif young-deveaux_icon.gif young-linderman_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif kimiko_icon.gif

Scene Title Be A Better Person
Synopsis Hiro and Kimiko's journey to the past begins with a discovery that the present has a great deal it could learn from the mistakes of the past.
Date April 17, 1961

Coyote Sands Relocation Center

Arizona

1961


"Diamond."

The tittering noise of an old video recorder running 8 millimeter film is the backdrop of an otherwise silent room. Dozens of men and women in white lab coats stand in quiet observation of a single table set in the middle of this wood cabin. On one side, a young girl with chin-length dark hair rests with her arms folded, brows furrowed and a stern stare directed across the table to a middle-eastern man holding up an oversized playing card with its back towards her. Other cards lay face up on the table.

"That's… very good." The scientist notes, laying the card face up on the table, revealing the black diamond on the middle. The cameras continue, filming the girl as she works, but her focus never leaves the doctor as he lifts up the next card. "And, what one is this, Angela?"

Her eyes narrow, and she nearly cuts him off with her answer of "Spade." The doctor looks unbelievably amazed, lowering the card down on to the tablre to reveal a black spade logo at the middle. But the young girl — no older than a teenager — leans forward in her chair before he can reach for the next card, arms still folded. "I'm not reading your mind, doctor Suresh." Her head tilts subtly to one side, affording him an askance view, "I just… I had a dream about it — " she motions with one hand around the room, "this."

"What else have you dreamed about, Angela?" Doctor Suresh's eyes do not leave the clipboard he is writing in, hastily scribbling notes as he lobs off that question, almost off-handedly to her. Angela's expression softens only in the frown she wears lightening, but it doesn't reach her eyes.

"I've dreamed about you." The words cause him to look up from his clipboard, lips parted slightly in uncertainty. "You're going to kill everyone here, you know." Her head tilts again, dark eyes following his in the confused reaction.

"I— " he has to take a moment's thought to compose himself, "I don't think that will happen, Angela. This is a safe place." His head bobs into a nod as if to emphasize his sentiments. Angela, however, doesn't seem convinced.

"You're a good man, doctor Suresh. You've treated everyone here with kindness, but things are going to get out of control." Angela's tone begins to become imploring as she leans forward again, resting her palms down on the tabletop and starting to rise from her chair.

"Angela, please— don't go. Don't you see the benefits your abilities could have for the world?" She hesitates at doctor Suresh's words, leveling dark eyes at the man as he too moves up from his chair, then around to the doctors around the building.

"How could I possibly help anyone?" Angela asks with a certain youthful cynicism, "I only see my nightmares." Chandra sighs heavily, moving around the table towards Angela slowly.

"Einstein once said The life of the individual has meaning…" but he finds himself cut off as Angela interjects over him, staring up at the much taller doctor with a firm gaze.

"…only and so far as it aides in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful." When the young girl finishes his sentence, Chandra is taken aback, head tilting to the side. "I haven't read Einstein, either," she adds with a bitter tone, "I dreamt you saying that, too."

Swallowing dryly, Chandra lowers his head and grimaces, reaching out to rest a hand on Angela's shoulder as he motions to a young Japanese nurse standing nearby, gesturing to the syringe on the surgical tray next to her. "Angela, you yourself said your dreams are subjective — open to interpretation. I assure you… nothing bad is going to happen here."

Kimiko doesn't want to do this. The needles are right out of some horrible old torture chamber movie and truth be told Kimiko's been able to fake it until she makes it thus far, but actually injecting the needle, well, it makes her just want to blanch and throw it down. But she and Hiro trying to stay hidden amongst the staff, so she steps forward with the needle at the ready, giving young Angela a kind, sympathetic look as she advances and starts to reach in order to swab the girl's arm with her free hand.

One of the orderlies within earshot is also conspicuously Japanese. And conspicuously silent. Hiro comes down the hallway in short-sleeved white, silent. Looking bored. But in actuality he is anything but. He's pushing a cart of supplies to the room in an errand that is equal parts blending in and checking on Kimiko. He's careful not to speak just yet. Nobody's addressed him. But he does give a light rap at the door to be let in so he can push the cart in and leave it. Probably for the next subject, or patient, or whatever they're calling the youth being tested here.

Angela looks away from the neddle, biting down on her lower lip as the area is prepared and the injection is delivered into her forearm. Doctor Suresh can only afford her a mild smile, turning to look over his shoulder to the nurse. "Thank you, miss Lee." His attention diverts back to Angela, one brow raised, "See? I told you, everything's going to be fine…" Angela doesn't look up to Suresh to see his reassuring smile, only focuses her eyes on the floor as the doctor turns to head away, walking past the cameraman who is turning off the recording device, only to pause as Hiro moves by.

"Oh, Bruce," Chandra waves a hand towards Hiro, "did you check on the Linderman family, yet? Charles is due to come in and I want to make sure he isn't going to make us play hide and seek again." A mildly perturbed tone comes over the doctor as he creases a brow, staring down at Hiro uncertainly.

Not far away, Angela tilts her eyes up towards Kimiko, staring at her in a long and silent fashion until the injection is done. She doesn't flinch, not once, moving in silent and smooth motions. "I dreamt about you too," she says in a hushed tone, watching Kimiko with a level stare that changes only in the way her brows lower.

"Did you?" Being so inundated with English, slowly but surely Kimiko's accent has been disappearing. It's still a slow process. She smiles pleasantly enough, trying to seem innocuous. "What did you dream about me, Angela?" Then a touch louder, "If you can't find Daniel, let me know, I'll come help." With that, she looks down at the young woman, smiling even as she processes the idea that one day, this will be the Angela Petrelli she has known of in the future, even though they've never met. Only now they have. Time travel, confusing much?

"Not yet, Dr. Suresh." replies Hiro the Bruce. "I'll go do that right now if you like." His English is better than Kimiko's, but that comes from more practice. He's been doing it longer. A glance at his sister is all that Hiro spares, overhearing the bit about her being dreamed about. Hopefully this sort of thing doesn't result in a problem. "Would you like me to telephone them or go personally?" he asks Suresh.

A mild sigh escapes Chandra when Hiro explains he hadn't checked on them yet. Head tilting to one side, he waves towards the door to the wooden building, "No just— go over to their barrack and see if Daniel's even home. I swear if he and that Deveaux boy ran off again I'm going to— " Chandra jerks his gaze over to Angela, realizing he was beginning to stress into a bit of a fit, and breathes out another sigh. "Finish up things here first, if you would, Bruce? Then you and your sister can head over to talk to Daniel."

While Suresh is finishing his conversation, Angela keeps that level stare on Kimiko. "You get shot," Angela states rather matter-of-factly, "by one of the soldiers here, in May." A month from now? "But… you save him, so it's not for nothing." One hand moves to Angela's elbow as she presses down the cotton swab on the soft spot there, bending her arms. The injections have become so commonplace now, and they still give her headaches.

Kimiko's eyes unwittingly dart to Hiro before she looks back at Angela. "Have you ever been wrong? Do not take offense, but I hope you are." Then gently, "Do you need help with getting back to your cabin?" She doesn't seem to have much more to say than that. All they've been doing is listening and observing. Watching.

Hiro meets Suresh with a stoneface, which is what you do when someone's being kind of rude. But then it's not as if 'Bruce' has any leg to stand on here. He knows his role. "Yes, Dr. Suresh." he says simply with a nod, giving a significant glance at Kimiko. And he stands there for a second, listening just in case there's more to learn about Angela's dream. Then goes about the menial work of emptying the waste basket bin into the larger bin on the cart and fiddling about with other such minor chores.

"There's a first time for everything," Angela says a bit coldly, turning from the nurse as she keeps her arm bent, giving her answer to Kimiko's question in the form of a silent retreat towards the doors of the building on her own. The screen door creaks open and then clunks shut as Angela makes her way outside not far behind doctor Suresh, leaving Kimiko and Hiro in the room with the gradually thinning researchers, as they begin packing up their notebooks and head towards the door.

"Funny sort of girl, who gets offended that her dream of my getting shot not coming true." remarks Kimiko wryly as she begins to put the trays of equipment, tidying up much like 'Bruce'. Nothing she's said is incriminating, so if someone present does speak Japanese, it's to no alarm. But the look she gives Hiro from under her ridiculous white cap only hints at her exasperation. Why are we here? What is it we're waiting to see?

"You stuck her with a big needle. I wouldn't like you either." mutters Hiro in quiet Japanese. Sometimes it's very handy being bilingual. "But that wasn't good. Let's go find Linderman. I'm curious to see what he's like." If anyone understands Japanese (like a lurking young Kaito, perhaps), they're not going to be able to read too much out of this conversation. Once the tidying up is done, Hiro pushes the cart back out into the hall on their next errand, to find Daniel.

Coyote Sands is a haunting foreshadow of the future. Wooden barracks serve as relocation camps for dozens of Evolved families taken from their homes by the United States Government. How is it possible, if the government knew about the Evolved all this time, that the revelation Nathan made in 2006 came as such a shock? Shouldn't there have been some suspicion, some warning?

These thoughts drift in the ether as Hiro and Kimiko make their way from Building 26 where child research is done, across the dirt-pathed camp towards the residential barracks. There's so many people here, young women, children and entire families brought to the facility. Outside of the fenced in facility and past the sign that reads Coyote Sands Relocation Facility there is bus parked, unloading a pair of young men, more new arrivals.

They pass out of sight as Hiro and Kimiko make their way through the tightly packed residential barracks. Despite the armed military guards, the people here aren't acting like prisoners, and as Hiro and Kimiko have learned so far — they don't even believe they are.

"You can tell th' good doctor to go screw himself, man!" A shout comes from the front steps of one of the barracks, where a young man with a messy mop of light brown hair stands, brow furrowed in frustration as he shouts in the direction of Kimiko and Hiro.

"I ain't goin' to the tests, so you can just go sit on it!" One finger is raised in a lewd gesture as the young man hops off of the front steps and slowly backpedals away from the building, with no sounds of other occupants contained within.

Kimiko lets out a tired sigh. She looks at Hiro. "Good cop, bad cop? Except I am never quite sure which of us is which." Without further word, she climbs the steps, opens the door, and steps inside. Taking a look around. "Daniel," she says in a firm even tone, "Please do not make it difficult for us to do our job. Angela's just been, and I promise you, she's fine. You will be too."

"No cop." replies Hiro cryptically, adding in English, "What's the matter Daniel. You afraid? You big baby." Reverse psychology. Sometimes it works, right? He stands there with arms crossed though, not moving on the kid.

"Pfft— The little Shaw girl can go sit on it too for all I care." Daniel's brows crease together as he shrugs while backpedaling, "she's not fun any— " Hiro's words may have as well been a punch across the mouth, for the way the young Linderman response, halting in place before widening his eyes and gawking at Hiro to make sure he actually said that.

"Look here you little Jap bastard," Daniel begins talking forward, waggling one finger in the air, "I'm not going into that gas chamber any sooner than the two of you are going to ride bicycles back to the land of the Rising Sun."

Standing his ground now, rather than running away, Daniel looks back and forth between Kimiko and Hiro. "You don't even understand how it is, do you? Well you should, you know what we did to you people during the war. We were just rounded up and brought here and told it was for our protection." A scowl begins to cut across Daniel's face, "I'm a prisoner, so you're going to have to treat me like one."

Seeing this, hearing this, it becomes hard to imagine how a youong man like Daniel Linderman, could grow into a man who would willingly subject his own kind to this very treatment in just a scant few decades.

See, it's a mistake to waggle one's finger at Kimiko. She has the long, long experience of older siblinghood, which comes complete with instinctual responses to taunts, both verbal, and in this case, physical, from younger males. Her martial skills don't hurt either. "I know what it is, Daniel-san." she says with gentle regret. "But we are all forced to play our parts. And for mine, I am very sorry. But I must still do what I am obligated to do." With that same expression she reaches out and snatches his finger, twists, and with the other free hand grabs hold of his ear with a fierce pincer grip. Hiro remembers the one. If Ando was alive, so would he. She starts marching Daniel out in front of her, attempts to free himself or strike at her abaited by a wrench if he so much as tries. Her voice raises, "And if you ever speak to me in that disrespectful tone, young man, I'll do more than just give your ear a good twist, wakaraimasu ka?"? He may not know the words, but the language is clear: Do you understand?

In spite of himself, some part of Hiro is enjoying this. Calling him a Jap does nothing to his ego. Kind of like with white people, it's hard to really come up with a racial slur that REALLY hurts a Japanese person's feelings. He kind of shakes his head and says with a grin, "Sorry, Daniel. You brought that one on yourself." He falls into step with his sister and her prisoner, asking, "What do they do with you, anyway, Daniel? I haven't seen what kind of tests they make you do." Perhaps while they have their very own Bataan Death March, Little Danny Linderman might feel like talking.

For all of the trumped-up badass Daniel tries to show, when Kimiko grabs him by the ear and twists, and takes on that parental tone of voice, he can't help be submit to her wishes. There's something to be said for his this would affect Daniel in the future, but speculations to a mobster's illicit proclivities with assertive Japanese women is best left out of the realm of active imagination.

"Ow! Ow! Let— let me go, you— " he tenses up, being led on by Kimiko as his eyes flick over towards Hiro, struggling to keep his head at an angle that does not cause him considerable discomfort. "They just— they make me heal things. Animals, injured ones, they want to see how much I can fix. It— they can go to— " he carefully reconsiders his vitriolic response under Kimiko's vice-grip. "I don't like it."

"Dan," comes a firm voice from behind where Kimiko and Hiro stand, the rich and smooth voice of a young man shaking his head on the way down the path. A little older and a little taller than Daniel, he looks back and forth between Kimiko and Hiro with an apologetic expression. "Is he bein' a pain? I'm real sorry." It's the second time today the Lee sublings had seen Charles Deveaux, and the first time that he ever displayed a level of concern for Daniel's well-being.

But it's more of what they saw in his testing that comes to mind, how he was reading the minds of the doctors around him, scanning them for secrets as a part of his filmed test. There's a lopsided smile he offers to the two "doctors" before motioning to Daniel.

"You want me to take him down to building 26? I gotta' go talk to doctor Zimmerman about my test tomorrow anyway."
"I do not blame you." Kimiko says in response to Daniel. "You have a precious gift; it is being squandered as if you are a lab rat." She cannot help but say such things in private company - or as private as this is. She releases her grip on Daniel with a calm air, turns to regard Charles solemnly. "Charlie-san, your assistance is much appreciated." Charles Deveaux, one of the founders. Even in his youth, there's something about him that commands respect. Her eyes flick once more to Hiro, and then back to the boys. "We must return anyway; we shall walk with you."

Hiro answers both Charles and Kimiko with a nod, silent agreement. But his attention is mostly on Linderman. "Dan." he says, using the name the boy prefers. Somehow he just can't be mean to Daniel, even knowing he is basically evil larva. "What is it that bothers you? Is it that you're not allowed to control how your gift is used? Or is it maybe that they're obviously harming these animals for no good reason, just to see what you can do?" He's going more the route of trying to build a rapport with the boy.

Charles arches a brow and then affords Kimiko a warm, if not somewhat unfamiliar smile as he starts to walk with the group. Daniel, thankfully, seems to have some of his simmering discontent cooling down as he shoves his hands into his pockets and rolls his shoulders forward. In an odd way, it's a look given to Charles, as if asking permission to speak his mind that seems most unusual.

"I— just don't like being herded around like cows. I don't like being treated like a lab specimen, like— " he snorts, derisively. The irony here, in the past echoing in the future is almost palpable in his words. "I don't know, I just don't like being caged, you know?" There's a look squared at Hiro, "I want to be the one in charge, not— not bossed around by these—"

"Dan." Charles' tone is disapproving, "come on, you're bothering the nurses." He wraps one arm around the slightly shorter man's shoulders, grinding one knuckle into the top of his head before looking back at Hiro and Kimiko. "I'll take him down to see Zimmerman, don't you worry. Thanks for being patient with him."

"It is no trouble." Kimiko seems content enough to leave it at that, but she looks toward, of all people, 'Bruce', an orderly rather than a nurse, as if he has some kind of authority in the relative positions. The fact that Charles can sweep through their minds does not occur to her, but then again, her mental 'language' is mostly Japanese.

Hiro shrugs at Kimiko and says significantly to Dan, "Dan, just remember something, okay? If you ever get in charge, be a better person than the ones running this show. Eh?" He gives a friendly look to Charles and takes a step back. "Thanks, Mister Deveaux." Then he offers just an intermittent glance at Kimiko until the others leave. They'll need a little more privacy before they talk.

Looking over his shoulder after wriggling out of Charles' headlock, Dan gives an askance glance to Hiro, with one brow raised. "Solid advice," he notes with a crooked smile, "solid advice." Charles turns to follow Daniel's line of focus, but does not echo his words, only offers a concerned smile before he turns back around and begins guiding Daniel back towards Building 26.

From the looks of things here in Coyote Sands, there's more going on beneath the surface than meets the eye, and trying to puzzle out exactly what Kaito intended for Hiro and Kimiko to find is going to be a long, and arduous process.

Thankfully for them, they have all the time in the world.


Previously in this storyline…
Birthright

Next in this storyline…

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